Self-Care Challenge (Day 336): Warming Up

serene lake in Florida

As Seattle’s wintry weather slowly continues to creep in, a sunny getaway to visit with family between the holidays seemed like a really good idea.

The last time I visited in the early spring, Florida was smack in the middle of a cold snap, and it was much colder there than it was at home. I had high hopes for this trip though.

Sunshine is minimal at best this time of year here in the Pacific northwest, and while I can’t say that the darkness bothers me all that much (I always seem to have indoor projects to keep me busy), it does take a toll after several months of it. By the time February rolls around I’m usually ready to see the sun. But most of the time it doesn’t appear again until around April.

And that’s why we’ve had to learn to be more strategic about our vacation plans. Taking periodic breaks–even if it’s just a day trip over the Cascade mountains–can make a world of difference.

Above the clouds on the plane, the sun was so bright it was blinding. Most of the shades were drawn, and even so, the sun was doing its best to light the cabin through the cracks. The flight was filled with the chatter of children who were excitedly anticipating a trip to Disney World. I had to chuckle when I overheard a conversation from the seat behind me:

“You’d better take a nap or you’ll be asleep when it’s time to go to Disney World,” said a grandmother.

Her granddaughter replied, “No way…I’ll be up at like 3 AM, lady!”

Needless to say, there was a LOT of energy on that flight, and it reminded me that the sun has a way of transferring its energy to us as well. Thinking back to the many states, countries, and climates that I’ve lived in or visited over the years reminded me that life can be experienced very differently depending on where happen to be on the globe.

Varying climates determine the kind of clothes we wear, how much time we spend outside, the type of foods we crave, and even the music we listen to. It’s so interesting how a slight change in temperature can alter our behaviors so much.

Indeed, warming up under the sun’s bright, therapeutic energy was exactly what I needed to head into the holiday season.

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